Man In The Rain
Joined: April 2002
|Posted: June 19 2002, 13:07
OK, music taste is a subjective thing. People like different things, and yet one would agree that someone who listened to Bach would have better music taste than someone who listened to Slipknot. I hope. Anyway, despite music taste being mostly subjective, there are still often people wanting to find the greatest albums of all time, hence the proliferation of polls on the internet, in magazines, and hosted on radio around the world. Normally, the Beatles always are awarded the best albums of all time, with either Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, or Revolver. Famously in the past, Radiohead and also the Stone Roses have topped similar charts. However Mike is often noticeable due to his absence – rarely Tubular Bells appears, and even when it does, it is in the lower section of the chart. Nothing else seems popular enough to register with voters – including Ommadawn. Now, Ommadawn seems to be, overall, the favourite amongst fans. Its seen as Mike’s greatest achievement, his masterpiece (or rather, his most definitive masterpiece). In my opinion, it is not only Mike’s greatest achievement, but the greatest album ever recorded. It is a beautiful, unique and very moving record. With albums such as those made by the Beatles, they are in song format – songs are fairly restrictive and predictable. Verses, chorus, maybe a solo. I know the Beatles and other artists, notably Beach Boys, sought to expand the boundaries of the pop song, and nothing can compare to Gershwin. But I feel that the best of Mike’s work – Ommadawn – is so much more. It doesn’t lift your spirits and then drop you after five minutes, it’s a proper experience. The music is beautifully detailed and yet the melodies are so strong and timeless, a tune may have been developing for six minutes and then one notices a repetition in the background, which comes to the fore and leads the piece in a new, unpredictable direction. Ommadawn is just so incredibly uplifting, and yet conveys a vast range of emotion, ranging from happiness to seemingly despair and a sense of, as Mike put less-subtly put it, rebirth. In my mind it makes the Beatles sound merely like pretty little pop songs, attractive but disposable, incomparable in beauty and worth. Nothing that I have heard before or since compares, apart from obviously classical music and some other works by Mike himself. It was also highly innovative at the time - and still is 27 years later. So, that leads me to ask…is Ommadawn the greatest album of all time? Have you ever heard a record that you could honestly say you think is better than Ommadawn, and if so, and what basis do you form your opinion? I’m very curious, as Ommadawn seems to be such an amazing high-watermark to me in popular music.
Hergest Ridge 165 - Ommadawn 038 - Incantations 243